The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 19.0627  Wednesday, 5 November 2008

From:       Eve-Marie Oesterlen <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:       Tuesday, 4 Nov 2008 15:59:07 +0000
Subject:    Shakespeare on YouTube Collection

I have just received the following announcement from Dr Luke McKernan  (see 
below) and thought it would be of interest to list members.

Eve Oesterlen

For little while now, I've been collecting examples of original Shakespeare 
videos on YouTube. This is not YouTube as a distributor of clips (legally or 
illegally) from DVDs, TV programmes etc, but YouTube as a place where a new kind 
of moving image Shakespeare is emerging.

Of course there's a huge amount of seeming trivia to wade through. There are 
currently 33,900 videos on YouTube if you type in 'Shakespeare', and aside from 
the recycled material, there is a huge amount of local stage productions filmed 
with shaky camera in the stalls, school projects, failed audition videos, 
in-jokes, juvenilia, and painfully po-faced readings.

But dig deeper, and gems emerge. I've been seeking out animations, mashups, the 
best of student projects, intriguing audition pieces, and so forth, describing 
them, identifying credits, categorising them  by play and type of production, 
and putting them on a website (really a blog), which I have named BardBox. And 
here it is:


This is just the start of the exploration. So far I have focussed on a 
particular type of original work, and looked for what I think is the best or 
most interesting. But what I am discovering is that usual notions of good or bad 
don't really apply. There is a new kind of audiovisual Shakespeare production 
emerging here, not a mere repetition of the old - new as in who is able to 
create such content, new in the reasons for doing so, new in the techniques 
applied, new in the audience for whom such productions are intended, new in the 
criteria by which success may be measured.

I'll continue adding examples (there are only 60 so far, and I've not even 
covered every play yet), and will expand the investigation to include more of 
e-trailers, stage recordings, theatre promos, lectures etc, and to look beyond 
YouTube (when I can work out how to embed videos from other sources). I know 
people in our field are just  starting to look at the YouTube phenomenon, and I 
thought it would be  useful (or at least entertaining) to gather together a 
canon of  sorts. Do take a look, let me know what you think, add comments to the 
videos, and tell me your favourites if you'd like to see them added.

Finally, this is a separate endeavour to the BUFVC's Shakespeare database 
(http://www.bufvc.ac.uk/shakespeare), which I previously led. The criteria for 
that has been Shakespeare on film, television and radio, and though it records 
some online video production, it could not take on such a vast and 
rapidly-growing field as well (the BUFVC database has 6,000 titles, YouTube 
33,900 and rising).



Dr Luke McKernan
Curator, Moving Image
British Library
96 Euston Road
London NW1 2DB
Tel: 020 7412 7442
Fax: 020 7412 7441
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Web: http://www.bl.uk

Eve-Marie Oesterlen
Broadcast Researcher
Shakespeare Project

British Universities Film & Video Council
77 Wells Street

tel: 020 7393 1502
fax: 020 7393 1555
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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